A little over a week ago, as I scuttled home from the office, I took an unusual turn down Hemphill Ave. Traffic was thick, and I like to keep moving. So down the side streets I went and as I peeled off of Northside Dr, I noticed that Jaqbo Bakery & Café had a whole new paint job. Something was up, so I pulled over. As I got out of my car and approached the building, a small, solitary word caught my eye: Antico. Jaqbo was no more! I had, completely on accident, stumbled upon the newfound home for Enrico Liberato (and on day freaking one no less).
The story goes like this: Liberato arrived in Atlanta just a few short months ago. Brought in to resurrect the tragically bad pizza that was being served up at Riccardo Ullio’s Fritti, Liberato helped put Fritti back on the map. Some months later, the marriage was over. It’s worth mentioning that I think the ‘za is a tad better since Liberato’s departure. Whatever the reason for the split, word around the campfire was that Liberato had teamed up with a Brooklyn native who got his start in this world back in Naples, Italy. That much was and is verifiably true. So here we stand.
I passed on the opportunity to immediately share my delight for a number of reasons. One of them being that I was confident Antico would remain off the radar for at least a few days. BUZZ … WRONG!!! Within a few short hours, news of the place darn dun blewed up and foodies, pizza passionistas, and bloggers alike have started talking up the place like a trending topic over on twitter. While nearly everyone to write on Antico has painted an idealized picture of halcyon times, in true Foodie Buddha fashion, I can’t say everything is peachy. That’s not to say that this chat of Antico Pizza will approach any semblance of the tongue lashings I’ve been known to hand out. If you decide not to continue with this post, take this one opinion with you: this pizza is really tasty.